POPE FRANCIS COMES OUT
BY HENRY PARNELL
October 30, 2020
The religious world is littered with contradictory teachings and ambiguity – ‘interpretation’ is a commonly used word when discussing the depths and intricacies of the apparently endless scripture. However, the authority that the Pope holds to clarify such ambiguity and shed light on religious teachings is second to none – and his word, on anything relating to the Catholic Church, is very literally sacred.
This week, footage has emerged in the new documentary ‘Francesco’ about the 266th Pontiff, in which he clearly vows his support for both homosexual Catholics, and their right to a legal same-sex union. His support is clear and un-wavering, something that has rubbed some more traditional Catholics the wrong way, with some Bishops around the globe concerned about it undermining what they consider to be the sanctity of traditional marriage.
Since gaining the seat as the head of the Catholic Church on 23/03/13 Pope Francis has curated an interesting and relatively liberal track-record, the hallmark of which being an emphasis on the virtues of compassion, acceptance and love. In the context of his previous liberal moves, his latest remarks regarding homosexuality are not particularly surprising. Yet for the Catholic Church at large, it is an attitude that some have called a ‘drastic shift’ in the stance of a traditionally conservative institution.
For example, the opening line of Wikipedia entry: ‘The Catholic Church and Homosexuality’, states that ‘The Catholic Church considers sexual activity between members of the same sex to be a sin.’ Although Pope Francis has not directly commented on the Church’s stance on whether homosexuality is a sin or not, his tone of acceptance and inclusivity is a welcome and refreshing move from one of the most powerful and influential religious figures in the world.
The ethical debate surrounding Christianity’s stance on homosexuality is one of the most fiercely contested, and ultimately deadlocked, discussions in religious scholarship. The claim that “homosexuality is forbidden by God” is a controversial stance, and one which is condemned by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as ‘poor biblical scholarship’ and ‘cultural bias’. The passage in Leviticus: “man must not lie with man” (18:22, 20:13), along with the teaching that God created only one man and one woman (Adam and Eve) in Genesis, are the two most quoted scriptures used as arguments against a religious acceptance of homosexuality. As the HRC note, all scripture is open to interpretation, and the clarity of any Biblical scripture explicitly condemning homosexuality is questionable – even the more ‘explicit’ teaching found in Leviticus can be explained in the context of an ancient Israeli nation anxious about the continuation of family lineage, not necessary the act of homosexuality itself.
With interpretation at the heart of the debate, the question becomes what source of authority trumps the rest of the pack, who has the final word? The answer doesn’t take long to find - if there is one person qualified to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church, it is the leader of the Catholic Church, the one other Christians believe is elected by God: The Pope.
Pope Francis’ comments bring Catholicism into the 21st century – a branch of Christianity historically plagued by a tendency to lean towards more archaic interpretations of the Bible. Overall, a Pope that endorses tolerance, love and compassion, is a leader that transcends his religion - Pope Francis has ultimately proven himself an ally to humanity.
TIK TOK: THE NEW EDUCATION PLATFORM
October 30, 2020
When I say Tik Tok you probably think of fad dances, and creators like Addison Rae and Charlie D’Amelio. But did you know that the app has become a platform for revolution and education?
As of 2020, Tik Tok is one of the most popular apps in the world; with 150 markets, 39 languages and an estimated 500 million active users. According to Businessofapps.com, 41% of users are 16-24, with roughly 50% of users being under 34. It is a platform for entertainment but recently has evolved into a hub for revolution, education, unlearning bias’ and ideals like capitalism and sexism that run deeply within society.
The natural media discourse of negative press began to surface against the Gen Z dominated app as it began to gather exponential popularity. It’s a timeless tale that the mainstream media always have a bone to pick with young generations, deeming them uneducated, a threat to society and hypersensitive; or snowflakes if you’d like. Publications like The Sun and The Daily Mail continuously report on the dangerous trends and the damaging impacts of social media on young generations, even though they lack substantial evidence and the examples cited can be barely defined as micro-trends.
In reality, once you emerge yourself within the app, you can discover a whole world of inspiring and inclusive educators who are creating content that is fun, yet full of valuable information surrounding an array of subjects. It’s a breath of fresh air when you open the app to see people from all over the world, and from1 all walks of life sharing experiences, making you feel loved and worthy and providing information that is often hard to come across.
There are different types of educating creators on the app, here are just a handful:
Tik Tok Police
Accounts like @jorobe, @laysieeeb and @thomasbrown573 respond to videos that are toxic, triggering, insulting, spreading misinformation, discriminating and normalising negative behaviour such as rape culture. They use their videos to explain why the content in another video is unacceptable by educating you on the matter and spreading awareness on other issues and subjects that are often misinformed.
These accounts work to create a normalised, inclusive and equal society by promoting virtues such as; learning from your mistakes, educating yourself and holding yourself accountable for your actions.
There has been an enormous up-rise in genuine creators who are using the platform to create communities where building one another up and finding self-love is at the forefront - normalising all body types, sexuality, genders and mental health conditions, spreading awareness and are open about their own experiences. These creators have make Tik Tok into a platform where your feed is filled with non-idealised societal standards and unwavering positivity and confidence.
Finally, we have the educational Tik Tok, where an amass of accounts have been created solely for the purpose of filling the gaps in knowledge that traditional academia leaves. Finance, mortgages, sex, mental health, black history; you name it, it will be there.
They create palatable, informative and interactive videos to make Gen Z more educated, in a style that doesn’t bombarded them with typical education system content. These videos are concise, fun and don’t feel like a lesson.
The #EduTikTok trend is gaining huge traction, with the platform itself recently announcing plans to commission experts and organisations to create educational content from a plethora of different sectors.
A recent spokesperson for Tik Tok declared that: “TikTok is a safe space to explore stories that matter most to young people, so things like black history, LGBTQ stories from some of our sites, women's history as well - it feels like a very safe, welcoming environment.”
Tik Tok is evolving into something we have never seen before. A truly influential, versatile, safe space for young adults to entertain, connect, learn, influence and build a sense of belonging.
BY MODUPE REIS
It was at 2.58pm on Wednesday 9th September that I, Modupe Reis, set out on a mission to be the first person ever to be accepted into a school based on retweets.
After a successful video interview with Marc Lewis, the day before, I was invited to the final selection day for the School of Communication Arts (the best advertising school in the UK, arguably the world).
So, in a bid to highlight the power of social media in advertising, my ability to sell myself and utilize my networks, as well as to set a new record, I asked Marc @SCA2Dean how many retweets I will need to get into this critically-acclaimed
What better way to secure a place in an advertising school than with a social media campaign, right?
It absolutely blew up in engagements, and what started off as a small innovative idea to grab Marc’s attention a bit, has now opened up some doors in the industry for me. I have had Art/Creative Directors from large industries connect with the tweet and me. Karen Blackkett (my career inspiration) even liked a tweet in the thread!!!
In our initial video interview, Marc had said that he wants someone who would:
a. make him famous
b. could make him famous without him ruining their mental health.
So, I set out to do just that. After I sent the tweet, I sent him an email (screenshot attached) and what ensued is something of historical proportions.
I have also used the # to show my past, present and hopefully future creative pursuits, as you will see in the thread. This whole campaign also worked well to give SCA some very great but very free advertising, though they’re pretty well-known in the industry, they aren’t that well-known by a lot of people in my large social media circles in spite of the absolutely amazing standard of their work. This lead me to come up with an idea to pitch to schools to adopt as an advertising strategy - tapping into the influencer network.
Here’s a lovely screenshot from the selection day yesterday. Marc is in the middle of the bottom row wearing and showing off the surprise parcel I sent him after tracking his home address from alumni, Scarlet Pughe, D&AD New Blood pencil winner and an old friend from secondary school—The King’s School, Canterbury. It was a shirt with the SCA logo at the top, reading ‘Hi, I’m @SCA2dean and I #GotHerInOnRetweets which I customised on www.clothes2order.com
Fast forward to 2 days later when I received a text from Marc and tweeted this video:
I went from PLEASE RETWEET IT, SHARE IT AND USE #GetHerInOnRetweets to talk about it to I GOT IN ON RETWEETS WHAT THE HELL! With loads of ad and Creative giants cheering me on.
I hope my story inspires others to think outside of the box. This is especially for the neurodiverse crew—we can use our differences to make the world easier and better and in turn create something positively insane.
CARA HUDSON A.K.A CAZ ART
Hi, I’m Cara, AKA Caz, and I’m a digital illustrator based in London. I am currently studying at The University of the Creative Arts, Epsom, doing a BA Hons in Fashion Promotion and Imaging. I’ve always been interested in graphics and illustration since I was small, and since November 2019 I have been creating my own small business built upon my illustration. Drawing and creating has always been my passion and always will be, it’s my way of expressing myself!